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Your Guide to EV Charging at Home

an EV charger

One of the best perks of driving an electric car is never going to a gas station. With a Level 2 home charging station, you can plug in your EV before bed and wake up to it fully charged and ready to hit the road. This is a luxury that all drivers aspire to have, but to enjoy this lifestyle, you must install a home charging station.

Like other home improvements, many things can go wrong with a home charging installation. The best way to prevent mishaps and unnecessary expenses is by hiring an experienced electrician.

To help you, here’s everything you need to know about EV charging at home.

What Features Should a Home EV Charging Station Have?

Why is EV charging at home so important? The number of public EV charging stations continues to grow in the U.S., but it will take years before they become as accessible as gas stations. Home charging stations are still the most reliable option for EV owners. You never have to deal with “range anxiety,” the fear of running out of battery before reaching your destination, because you can always leave home with a full charge.

If you want a home charging station for your EV, here are the features to look out for.

Ease of Use

EVs are a new concept for drivers, and making the switch can be confusing. The last thing you want is to get a complicated EV charger that raises your stress levels whenever you use it. When choosing a home charging station, make sure you understand how to use it. Or, better yet, contact a licensed electrician who can walk you through your options.

A Level 1 charging station gets about four to five miles of driving in an hour of charge, while a Level 2 charger is about five times faster. If you are frequently running your battery to near empty, it’s best to go with a Level 2 charger.

Another thing that improves ease of use is a long charging cord. Ideally, it should be at least 20 feet for flexible charging. That way, you can charge vehicles parked outside your garage.

Correct Amount of Power

You might not need the fastest and most powerful home charging station. If you leave your EV parked for 8 to 12 hours daily, you should wake up to a full battery regardless of power. Also, you shouldn’t charge your car from empty to full because that reduces the battery’s longevity. Instead, aim for the 30% to 80% range for daily usage. Only use the battery’s entire capacity for long trips.

How to Prepare Your Garage for an EV Charging Station

The process of installing a home EV charging station requires electrical work and may require electrical permits. A professional electrician can assess your needs during their initial inspection.

It’s helpful to know that the average house has around 120 to 124 amps of power coming into it, and the average amperage requirement for a car charger is 50 amps. Many homeowners find that they need to make arrangements to get enough power coming into the house to add the charging station. A licensed electrician can answer any questions you may have about this.

Here are two steps you can take to get your home ready for an EV charging station.

Remove Clutter

Many homeowners can’t park their cars in the garage because there’s too much clutter. So before you install a charging station, make enough room for it. It helps to invest in storage systems like overhead racks, cabinets and slatwall panels. That will help reduce clutter and maximize garage space.

Keep Garage Warm and Dry

You don’t get as much mileage from a charge during the colder months. But you can protect and maximize your battery’s life by installing insulation in your garage. It also helps to weatherproof your garage. While most EV charging stations can withstand extreme weather conditions, it never hurts to be careful. Keep in mind, some electric vehicles require ventilation for charging in enclosed spaces due to hydrogen gas being released from the battery. Consult the vehicle manufacturer for charging requirement details.

Once your garage is ready, contact an experienced electrician to install the charging station. The electrician will ensure the unit is running smoothly and efficiently. With professional advice, you’ll find the best location for the charger.

an EV charger

Types of EV Charging Stations

If you’re switching from gas to EV, it helps to familiarize yourself with the different levels of EV charging. Understanding how each works will allow you to choose the best home EV charging station. Here’s what you need to know about them.

Level 1

Level 1 is the most basic form of EV charging. Level 1 charging is the slowest, requiring around 22 to 40 hours to charge a regular EV battery fully. An hour of charging will only give you four to five miles of driving. Level 1 charging is ideal for people who don’t travel long distances regularly. Many owners also keep them for trickle charging or as a backup option.

Level 2

Level 2 is a popular home charging method for EV owners. A Level 2 charger needs a 240-volt connection, which should be installed by a professional. These chargers can be five times faster than Level 1. Some Level 2 chargers also have features like load balancing and RFID cards.

A Level 2 charging station is ideal for owners of fully electric vehicles. But those who drive other electric vehicles can use it too, if they want a faster charging experience. It provides the ideal speed for charging while you work or sleep. You’ll see Level 2 chargers in many public places like hotels, supermarkets and workplaces.

If you don’t know which level of EV charging is right for you, consult a professional. A licensed electrician will provide you with a recommendation and can also install the charging station for you.

an EV charger

Tax Credit for EV Charger

Although you’ll never have to go to a gas station again, EVs can be an investment. Fortunately, the EV charger tax credit is here to stay until 2032.

What does this mean for aspiring EV owners? You can get a 30% tax credit for installing a home EV charging station. That covers the hardware and installation costs up to $1,000. It’s a big incentive for those planning to switch from gas to EV.

Trust the Professionals for Your Home EV Charging Needs

Navigating the world of EVs can be intimidating for new drivers. If you’re confused about EV charging at home, contact the professionals for help. A licensed electrician can design and install the charging station for you, ensuring it’s safe and complies with all regulations.

ABC Can Install a Home EV Charger

Can you imagine never having to go to a gas station ever again? By having an electric vehicle and an in-home EV charger, you can enjoy all EVs’ benefits. ABC’s licensed electricians can help you decide on the best EV charger for your home and handle the EV charger installation so you can get on the road. They can also help with other electrical issues, like bad electrical panels.

Tom Riggs

Tom Riggs is the Division Manager for Mechanical Services, overseeing sales and operations for HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Appliance Repair and Water Quality for all ABC Austin branches. He joined ABC in 2014. Before ABC, he was an HVAC Service Technician, HVAC Comfort Advisor/Sales and Operations Manager. Tom attended Universal Technical Institute. He's an avid outdoorsman and enjoys country living with his wife and two sons.

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